Designing cars for a global marketplace can be a high-stakes business – so it’s not surprising automotive engineers like to explore the lighter side of the job whenever they can.
One way for them to add some personality to their creations is through the addition of ‘Easter eggs' – hidden design or technology features included in cars as a little wink to those who find them.
Sometimes, these secret symbols are a nod to the brand’s heritage, other times they’re included just to make an owner’s life easier (or, perhaps, a designer’s life more enjoyable).
Regardless, many owners might not even realise their cars feature the sneaky inclusions – as evidenced by a recent Tik Tok challenge that saw Jeep owners uncover the brand’s many hidden symbols on their cars.
So, to help you find out whether your own car features a wink of sorts, we’ve rounded up the best Easter eggs included on new cars in Australia.
Jaguar isn't about to let the allure of its animal kingdom namesake go to waste – there are plenty of tiny jaguars or big cat motifs dotted around the cars.
On the Jaguar E-Pace, in particular, you'll spot a jaguar and its cub slinking across the passenger side of the windscreen, as well as on the puddle lights that illuminate the ground under the driver's side.
A less obvious Easter egg can be found on the F-Type – the underside of the car's bonnet features a frame in the shape of the the Jaguar 'growler' logo.
Arguably the pioneer of automotive Easter eggs, Jeep has been hiding little symbols on its cars for years.
The habit kicked off in 1996, when the 1997 Wrangler TJ was unveiled with the first hidden symbol: a miniature seven-bar grille in the Wrangler's cowl.
The symbols range from the aforementioned mini Jeep grille, to a lizard, to a spider saying "ciao baby", to a tiny shark, to a hidden message reading "to new adventures" under the start button, and they feature across all Jeep models.
Jeep's Easter eggs recently took centre stage once again when a viral TikTok video encouraged Jeep owners to locate their special hidden symbol on their own cars, with many owners never having noticed them.
Owners of new Mercedes-Benz cars might be initially alarmed when they see their front windshield has been scribbled on.
Fear not – it's not a sneak attack from a passer-by, but rather the signature of either Carl Benz, the German engineer who developed and patented the modern automobile, or Gottlieb Daimler, the founder of Mercedes' parent company and the man credited with developing the first internal combustion engine, amongst many other things.
Some cars, meanwhile, just get a simple 'Mercedes' in its classic script form.
The signatures are used to denote a Mercedes-Benz genuine windshield, in a nod to the level of craftsmanship involved on all Mercedes cars.
That means if you have an accident where the windshield gets damaged and it's not replaced with a genuine windshield, you're likely to sacrifice that characteristic scribble.
Skoda has another name for the Easter eggs on its cars: 'Simply Clever features'.
These include handy features that double as both playful inclusions and practically helpful lifestyle aids, such as "curry hooks" in the boot, which are designed to, quite literally, hold your takeaway food bags.
One of the more unusual features fitted to all Skoda cars is an umbrella, complete with its own designated holder either in the door or under the front seat.
Skoda says the requisite umbrella is "actually one of our most popular features".
"The other thing worth mentioning is the Czech crystal-inspired design of the headlights, which are designed to look like crystal glassware the country is famous for – there’s even a little stamp in the corner of the headlight that points to that," a Skoda spokesperson told us.
Tesla's electric cars are so chock-full of Easter eggs it's hard to know where to start.
Possibly with the fact founder Elon Musk has specifically rolled out the current model range so their combined names spell out SEXY CARS (the Model S, Model 3, Model X and Model Y, plus the Cybertruck, ATV, Roadster and Semi).
In the cars themselves, however, there are plenty of technology features to play with. These include the ability to turn the central display into a sketch pad for drawing, the 'cowbell' function – which plays Will Ferrell's rendition of Don't Fear the Reaper from Saturday Night Live – and the 'Fart on Demand' function, which turns any seat in the car into a whoopee cushion.
You can also turn the indicator noise into a fart sound and choose from seven different types of fart: Not a Fart, Short Shorts Ripper, Falcon Heavy, Ludicrous Fart, Neurastink, Boring Fart, and I’m So Random.
Santa Mode changes the instrument cluster on the Model S or X, or the touchscreen on the Model 3, into Santa's sleigh, while Mars Rover mode changes it to the surface of Mars and Romance Mode changes the touchscreen to show a virtual fireplace while playing romantic music and blasting the heating.
Romance mode in Model 3 accommodates up to 5 ?— Tesla (@Tesla) January 25, 2019
Teslatari allows you to turn your Tesla into an arcade, with Atari game controls accessible through the touchscreen and steering wheel.
Finally, Tesla's Model X cars feature an Xmas mode which enables them to put on a light show with their falcon doors to the tune of Wizards in Winter by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Don't get startled if you spot a spider in your Volvo XC90 – it's meant to be there!
The little arachnid, complete with its spun web, is hidden in the compartments of the third row of seating in Volvo's large SUV.
Every Volvo model also features a small Swedish flag on the driver's seat in a nod to the brand's heritage, while a cross in the same style as the Swedish flag is hidden in the left-hand side of the dashboard in the XC60.
Finally, you'll notice every Volvo seatbelt is stamped with 'Since 1959' – that's the year Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin invented the V-type three-point safety belt, one of the automotive world's most important safety inventions, which persists to this day.
Have you spotted any automotive Easter eggs on your own car? Let us know in the comments!
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